I am moving to Wordpress!!!
I have been working with Enchanted By A Book for four years now, and I have absolutely loved it. However, I have decided that it is time for something new. I have always wanted to try Wordpress, and consequently will be moving from Blogger to Wordpress. If you have been following me on Bloglovin', you will still be following my new blog, Breathe Pages.
I hope you will still continue to follow my blog! I have loved every second with you, my amazing readers. Thank you for being the best. I hope to see you over at the new blog! You can also follow my Bookstagram account on Instagram! I'm playing around with themes, and it will hopefully look a lot better in the coming weeks. Follow @breathepages to stay updated!
I LOVE YOU ALL, THANK YOU SO MUCH. Stay amazing! See you soon.
THE ONE: CHAPTER ONE
This story is copyrighted by Sarah at Enchanted by Books. Please do not use it as your own.
I am lost in Aspen's arms, drowning in his kisses. I wish I could drown, and be done with all these choices and stress for the Selection.
"Mer," he murmurs, leaving a trail of fire on my face.
"Aspen," I gasp.
"I've missed you so much," he says, and dives in for another kiss. It is true that we have not had very much time together. With the final selection for the princess coming up in a few days, we have all been working like crazy to get ready. The attacks are also putting everyone on edge, and Aspen has guard duty 24/7. This picnic in the room that we found so long ago is the first real time we have had together for ages.
"Mer," says Aspen, "We could run away from all this. Just me and you."
"What are you talking about?" He has never talked about something like this.
"We could leave this. The Selection, everything. We could get married." He sounds hopeful.
"Aspen, I can't do that," I exclaim.
"Why not?" he demands, twisting so he can see my face. "Are you really choosing him over me?"
"I'm not choosing anyone!" I snap. "But I love him too, and I won't just leave him." The truth was, I wanted to wait until the Selection was done with, and if Maxon didn't choose me, well, I didn't know what I would do.
"No, no. You've chosen him," Aspen realizes, and then with a sudden passion he grabs me and kisses me.
That is when the worst thing possible happens.
The door to the room opens, and with Aspen kissing me so hard, he doesn't notice.
But I do. And I see the person standing in the doorway.
I feel like my whole world has been ripped out from underneath me as I see the look on his face. Hurt. Disbelief. Betrayal. Loss. Sadness. Anger.
He makes a strangled noise, and then he is gone. Aspen still has no clue what has been going on, so he doesn't understand when I shove him away and run.
Run down the hall, and through the doors of the palace. I stop in the garden and collapse onto the ground, sobbing like I never have before. Big, heaving sobs, like the sobs I knew I should have cried that day when Aspen left me.
Maxon, Maxon, Maxon. I've lost him, I know I have. Suddenly, I stand up. He deserves an apology, even if he is going to send me home.
I go up to his room, and knock on the door. There is no answer, but I know he is in there.
I pound harder. "Maxon, please. Please let me in," I sob.
The door is ripped open, and Maxon stares at me, with no emotion. His eyes are rimmed with red, and the color breaks my heart.
"Maxon," I start, but then he yanks me into his room and closes the door.
The silence is agonizing.
"Say something," I whisper.
"What would you like me to say, America?" he demands softly, refusing to face me.
"I'm so sorry. I'm so, so sorry," I say. "You are such a good man, and you will be such a good king. I'm sorry I couldn't love you enough. I'm sorry that I could never repay you for everything you have done. I'm sorry for doing this to you. I never meant to.... I didn't want to hurt...."
"How long?" he interrupts.
"Since he was made a soldier," I whisper. "He was my ex, and I wanted to have him back, it hurt so much when I lost him. In the end, though, he could see that I wanted you. I always have wanted you. That kiss-" he flinches at the word- "was his way of trying to win me back."
"I was so angry," I continue, "so angry, when you kissed Celeste, and so I know how you feel, and I'm sorry."
He says nothing.
"Maxon?" I have to know. "Are you going to kill me?"
At this, he whirls around. "What?" he says in disbelief. He tries to search my eyes for a clue, for anything.
"I broke the law, I thought-"
"I could never kill you. For anything. I'd die first. I loved you, America, I was going to marry you."
"I would have said no."
He looks like I slapped him. "What?" he chokes.
" I can't be a princess, Maxon, I can't. I wouldn't know what to do, I'd be terrible. You know that," I say.
He crosses the room in a few moments and grabs my hands.
"I don't care. I loved you, America, I love you, right now. I want you," he almost yells. "But I can see now how blind I was."
"Maxon, you don't understand-"
"I understand perfectly," he says. "I saw that man kiss you. He has obviously done it many times before."
"I can't say I blame you, though," he continues. "He puts my kisses to shame."
"Maxon, look at me, please." He does, and I reach a hand up to touch his face. "You're wrong. Your kisses are so much better. They burn me, slowly, spreading a fire through me, and his wash me away until there is nothing good left of me."
He swallows, and turns his face into my hand. I feel a single tear fall into my palm, and I know I have to tell him. I can't find words.
"I can't keep you here," he says, his voice ragged.
"I know. You are going to tell the king then, aren't you."
His head snaps up. "What? No, of course not. I'll just dismiss you."
"No?' he repeats, like he heard me wrong.
"Don't tell them it was Aspen, he doesn't deserve it," I say. "He really is a good man, at heart. But I want them to whip me. I want to be punished for doing this to you, and I want to feel what you have felt for me, and what Marlee felt. And I want the scars to always remind me of my time here." I know the words aren't true, not really, but I need something to give Maxon.
"No. You can have something else to remind you, not something that gave you pain. I don't want you to remember me that way." He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a ring. He slips it on to my finger and kisses it. "This was always yours. Always."
I feel tears threatening in my eyes, and I whisper, "Thank you. Maxon, I know you have given me so many things I don't deserve. But before I go, please, would you......"
That's all I have to say and his lips are on mine, but stronger and fiercer than they ever have been. He is burning me, burning me alive and I want more but I know my time is over here.
"I love you," I murmur against his lips. "I'm sorry I didn't say it before."
He reaches for me, but I am gone as soon as he breaks away.